Spring City Council is planning on upgrading the borough’s wastewater treatment plant.
The plant, built in 1937, has undergone various upgrades throughout the years. With this upgrade, like many of the others, council wants to keep up with the Department of Environmental Protection regulations.
Borough Manager Dennis Rittenhouse estimates the project will cost about $4.8 million including the legal and engineering fees.
Recently council finished its updated Act 537 plan as the result of a mandate for municipalities from the DEP to provide details on “how wastewater will be treated within their boundaries in order to safeguard public health,” according to Councilman Michael Hays.
“The Act 537 plan must include treatment methods, maps, treatment capacity calculations, and lots of other details,” Hays said.
About three years ago, council started addressing two issues with the plant, he said.
“We could not approve any new residential or commercial development because DEP determined that our plant was over capacity,” he stated. “Additionally, we knew that new regulatory limits on phosphorus and total dissolved solids were looming in the not-to-distant future. The borough could face future penalties for non-compliance.”
He added that council members wanted to “invest in a long-term solution”.
The borough’s Act 537 has a planned upgrade for an installation of a treatment process called CoMag by Cambridge Water Technology.
“This investment will improve the quality of water that is discharged to the Schuylkill River, while increasing our treatment capacity to 600,000 gallons per day,” Hays said.
Rittenhouse said the CoMag - the process which adds the chemicals to the plant’s system - is the most expensive part of the upgrade.
The upgrade would also involve some construction at the plant’s current site including an aerobic digester, increasing the depth of the trickling filters as well as other items.
Rittenhouse said this upgrade would be cheaper than creation of a whole new wastewater treatment plant.
The upgrade is “a way to prepare for future regulations coming down the pike for testing,” Rittenhouse said.
As Borough Manager, Rittenhouse is in charge of both looking for available grants and handling the borough’s loan applications.
Rittenhouse said that during the next borough council meeting he will be asking council for approval to apply for a loan through the United States Department of Agriculture. He said this program is best suited for the borough and has a lot of advantages. He said if the loan would be approved there may be less of a sewer rent rate hike for residents.
Rittenhouse added that he is not sure how long the process of completing the upgrade would take, as it is dependent very much upon how the loan process will play out.